A killer is targeting hate figures in the Catalan city of Girona – a loan shark, a corrupt priest, four thugs who have blighted the streets of the old quarter – leaving clues about his next victim through mysterious effigies left hung on a statue. Each corpse is posed in a way whose meaning no one can fathom. Which is precisely the point the murderer is trying to make. Elisenda Domènech, the solitary and haunted head of the city’s newly-formed Serious Crime Unit, is determined to do all she can to stop the attacks. She believes the attacker is drawing on the city’s legends to choose his targets, but her colleagues aren’t convinced and her investigation is blocked at every turn. Battling against the increasing sympathy towards the killer displayed by the press, the public and even some of the police, she finds herself forced to question her own values. But when the attacks start to include less deserving victims, the pressure is suddenly on Elisenda to stop him. The question is: how?
After many months, I finally read City Of Good Death! Last year, I talked to the author via Twitter and showed interest because of the location, but the publishers never sent the book and I simply added it to my long TBR… Fortunately, Chris reminded me last month and I knew I had to read it as soon as possible.
As some of you already know, I’m from Barcelona, which is part of Catalonia, Spain, and that’s why I was attracted to this series in the first place. The Elisenda Domènech series is set in the lovely city of Girona. It might not be my city, but I’ve been there several times and I love it. It has a rich culture and it’s a beautiful place as well.
City of Good Death was a great read and, of course, I would’ve enjoyed it even if it hadn’t been set in Girona, but I admit I loved that part, as it felt unique and I honestly couldn’t stop smiling. This time I actually knew what the characters were talking about! Besides the locations, there were the names, the food (café amb llet!) and the whole Catalan culture. How could I not love this? Don’t worry if you feel a bit confused at first; the more you read, the more you’ll enjoy this thrilling adventure.
The case was intriguing and followed the classic serial killer storyline that I always look forward to. What exactly is going on? Are the deaths related? Can Elisenda and her team find the killer before it’s too late? I loved how the case was connected to Girona’s myths, as I learned a lot about the city’s legends that I honestly knew nothing about. In addition, this novel deals with the “vigilante” dilemma, as some of the victims aren’t exactly good people. At first, Girona citizens are glad that these people are dead… but what happens when the killer goes too far?
As for the characters, Elisenda was fierce and I adored how she was always protective of her team. I really liked Alex (after all, he was from Barcelona!) but Pau was my favorite. There was a great paragraph where Alex asked him how he knew so much about Girona and its legends and Pau simply told him that he was the son of immigrants, so in school, he had to prove he was more Catalan than the rest of the class. I wanted to hug him!
An enjoyable and immersive police procedural set in beautiful Catalonia.